How was your International Women’s Day? GREAT I hope! There were so many inspiring gatherings happening around the country, I hope you were able to make it to one.
My day started with the 2017 International Women’s Day Breakfast hosted by Trilogy International Limited, which featured a jovial and informative chat between Trilogy CEO Angela Buglass and TV3’s Samantha Hayes. The two ladies sort of interviewed each other about different facets of women in work, and what it has been like for them on their career journeys. Samantha’s story included that one time she interviewed Megadeth as a teenage intern (WHAT?!), and various other occasions where she was thrown into the deep-end and survived to live the tale. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable was a mantra she shared with us, and she was pretty convincing on the fact that doing the hard thing may be awkward and uncomfortable at the time, but more often than not, coming out the other side of it is a lot of fun! Angela shared some insight into the balance of personal vs business approach she has to take as a CEO, and how she loves to foster a happy, female-friendly workplace, that values work-life balance.
The weather was awful, I got wet feet, but it was totally worth it to be able to meet and chat with Samantha, and enthusiastic women from wonderful organisations like UN Women and the National Council of Women of New Zealand (started by Kate Sheppard, don’t you know?!). Big thanks to Women’s March Aotearoa New Zealand for sending me along!
The middle of my day involved drying off, hot comfort food, and some work on a very special sponsored something for a very special lady who is heading to Vegas next month to take out the Miss Viva Las Vegas title. Women supporting women; it’s of the utmost importance!
Then I capped off the day with the thought and discussion-provoking play Revolt. She said. Revolt Again, by UK author and playwright Alice Birch (performed by local talent, and showing as part of the Auckland Fringe Festival). I haven’t been to a play in the LONGEST time, and haven’t always been that keen on them; I think it’s something in the deep-seated fear of being unexpectedly picked on for involvement in the live piece. But I really enjoyed Revolt! It was the perfect thing to do and see on International Women’s Day; especially amidst all the talk about how far away from gender equality we are, and how long it’s going to take us to get there based on current momentum. Revolt’s purpose was to get us thinking about the language we use that plays a part in keeping gender roles separated and unequal. Different scenes dealt with different ideas and situations, from the way we talk about sex between a man and woman, to being heard and understood as a woman in the workplace. The play was written in 2013, and first performed in 2014, and even in that time, it still deals with very current ideas that we are struggling through today. Ideas that many of us can acknowledge as either experiencing ourselves, or having seen the same story told in our social media feeds. The play presents the ideas to ponder over, but doesn’t have the answer. Because none of us do as yet. This equal rights thing is most definitely a working document.
I took along a friend who I thought would appreciate the content, and that she did! We chatted for a full hour after the show, over hot chocs and tea, discussing ideas brought up in the show, what we (in our limited experiences) could offer as solutions, dystopian literature of old that is coming to life before our eyes, and our pure disbelief of the anti-equality things we have seen and heard in this past year. We discussed nature vs nurture, religion’s role in institutionalised sexism, and women in work. It was thoroughly stimulating! And while we may not have all the answers just yet, being able to point the finger in the direction of normalised sexism/racism is incredibly valuable, and focusing attention on one specific area (locally is best), is better than freezing at the sheer size of the complicated and intertwined issue of global equality. It’s a monster, I know. But if we do and say nothing, we slide backwards, and the (normal/sensible/basic) rights you enjoy today will be gone tomorrow.
Big thanks again to the local Women’s March group for arranging our attendance to Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.
Show up, Speak up and Support your sisters. EVERY day of the year!!